In 250-270 AD, a plague swept across the Roman Empire. An average of 5,000 people died each day in Rome alone. Christian persecution by emperor Decius grew as the church was blamed for the outbreak. The whole tragedy was called the Plague of Cyprian, named for a bishop who wrote about the event.
When signs of the illness appeared, a typical Roman family would send the affirmed packing for fear of a familial outbreak. Christians did the opposite. They would welcome these discarded people into their homes. Because of the unusual kindness to strangers, Christianity spread. Candida Moss, a professor of New Testament and early Christianity at Notre Dame, notes, “the epidemic that seemed like the end of the world actually promoted the spread of Christianity.”
Eighteen centuries since the Plague of Cyprian, the church still has a reputation of running toward people during hard times. The compassion of Christians toward the hurting continues to draw people to the church. Small Groups are an excellent proving ground to develop an empathy for others.
One of the axioms we use to describe Small Groups is “living life together.” Life is like a roller coaster. Life is filled with ups, downs and a few loopy loops along the way. The experience is best when shared.
Small Groups start a new 10-week term during the week of January 21. You can sign-up to join a Small Group through January 21st by filling out the registration form in the bulletin, going on the churches website or calling the church office. A sign-up table will be in the lobby on Sunday, January 7th, 14th, and 21st to answer your questions.
Small Groups Kick off January 21st – 27th